I’m not sure what I expected from La Jolla when I first read the name. Perhaps I foolishly assumed it would be a bright, happy cocktail that made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside as you drank it. Did I see ‘Jolla’ and think jolly, or did I hear the Spanish sounding name and instantly think of better climates and refreshing cocktails? Either way it doesn’t matter, because what I can tell you about La Jolla is that it’s a big fat disappointment, that’s what.
The first clue should have been the bizarre lack of aroma that came from the glass. It’s not undrinkable but it’s not the fun-loving beverage I hoped it would be, it’s simply too strong for that. The crème de banane lingers for barely a second or two on your palate once you take a sip, but that quickly dissolves into a fiery alcoholic burn from the brandy and I unfortunately couldn’t taste the lemon or orange juice at all, although I’m certain they did temper the heat of the brandy somewhat.
Based on my feelings so far, you might be surprised that I’m saying it’s not undrinkable, but the reality is that sometimes expectations can affect your first impression of a drink much as they would with people. I think that if you go in knowing that this is a fiery drink, you’ll come out the other end feeling pretty content with your choice. Just don’t expect more than that.
♦ 1 ½ ounces brandy
♦ ½ ounce crème de banane
♦ ¼ ounce lemon juice
♦ ¼ ounce orange juice
Shake the ingredients together with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.